North Carolina Fishing License at Walmart: A Comprehensive Guide

Ultimate Guide to NC Fishing License at Walmart (Updated 2024)

Fishing is a beloved pastime in North Carolina, offering anglers the opportunity to explore the state’s diverse waterways and reel in a variety of prized catches. However, before you can cast your line, it’s essential to obtain a valid fishing license. Walmart, a popular retail chain, provides a convenient option for purchasing fishing licenses across the state. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting your North Carolina fishing license at Walmart in 2024.

This article will guide you through the process of obtaining a fishing license at Walmart in North Carolina, covering license types, costs, requirements, and tips for a smooth transaction. We’ll also highlight the importance of fishing licenses in supporting conservation efforts and ensuring compliance with state regulations.

Why Do You Need a Fishing License in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, anyone aged 16 or older is required to have a valid fishing license when fishing in public waters, including lakes, rivers, streams, and coastal areas. Fishing licenses serve several crucial purposes:

  1. Conservation Efforts: A portion of the revenue generated from license sales goes towards funding conservation programs, habitat restoration, and fisheries management, ensuring the sustainability of North Carolina’s aquatic resources.
  2. Regulation Compliance: Obtaining a fishing license ensures that anglers are aware of and comply with the state’s fishing regulations, such as size limits, catch limits, and seasonal restrictions, which help maintain healthy fish populations.
  3. Recreational Opportunities: License fees contribute to the maintenance and improvement of public fishing areas, boat ramps, and other recreational facilities, enhancing the overall fishing experience for all anglers.

Types of NC Fishing Licenses Available at Walmart

Walmart offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to the needs of different anglers. Here are the most common options:

Inland Fishing License

This license allows you to fish in all public inland waters, including lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds. It does not cover coastal or joint waters (where freshwater meets saltwater).

Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL)

This license is required for fishing in coastal and joint waters, such as sounds, bays, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License

This combination license covers both inland and coastal waters, providing anglers with the flexibility to fish in any public water body within the state.

Short-Term Licenses

For those planning a brief fishing trip, Walmart offers short-term licenses valid for 10 days or fewer. These licenses are available for inland, coastal, or unified fishing.

Lifetime Licenses

Anglers who plan to fish frequently in North Carolina may consider purchasing a lifetime license, which provides a one-time payment for a lifetime of fishing privileges.

Purchasing Your NC Fishing License at Walmart

Obtaining your fishing license at Walmart is a straightforward process. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Visit the Sporting Goods Section: Head to the Sporting Goods department of your local Walmart store, where you’ll find the fishing license counter or kiosk.
  2. Provide Required Information: Be prepared to provide your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, and any applicable discounts or exemptions (e.g., military, disability, or senior citizen).
  3. Select Your License Type: Choose the appropriate license type based on your fishing plans and the waters you intend to fish.
  4. Make Payment: Walmart accepts various payment methods, including cash, credit/debit cards, and potentially even mobile payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  5. Receive Your License: Once the transaction is complete, you’ll receive your fishing license, which you must carry with you while fishing in North Carolina.

License Costs at Walmart (2024)

The cost of fishing licenses at Walmart may vary slightly from year to year, but here are the approximate prices for 2024:

Inland Fishing License:

  • Resident Annual: $25
  • Non-Resident Annual: $38
  • Resident Short-Term (10 days): $9
  • Non-Resident Short-Term (10 days): $23

Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL):

  • Resident Annual: $16
  • Non-Resident Annual: $32
  • Resident Short-Term (10 days): $6
  • Non-Resident Short-Term (10 days): $16

Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License:

  • Resident Annual: $41
  • Non-Resident Annual: $70
  • Resident Short-Term (10 days): $16
  • Non-Resident Short-Term (10 days): $39

Lifetime Licenses (Resident Only):

  • Infant (Under 1 year): $477
  • Youth (Under 16 years): $477
  • Adult (16-69 years): $954
  • Senior (70 years and older): $32

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and additional fees or discounts may apply based on your specific circumstances (e.g., military, disability, or senior citizen status).

Tips for a Smooth Fishing License Purchase at Walmart

To ensure a hassle-free experience when purchasing your NC fishing license at Walmart, consider the following tips:

  1. Check Store Hours: Verify the operating hours of your local Walmart’s Sporting Goods department to ensure they are open and able to process fishing license sales.
  2. Bring Proper Identification: Have a valid form of identification ready, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID, to verify your residency status and age.
  3. Know Your Fishing Plans: Be prepared to provide details about your intended fishing locations and duration to ensure you purchase the appropriate license type.
  4. Consider Lifetime Licenses: If you plan to fish frequently in North Carolina, explore the cost-effectiveness of purchasing a lifetime license, which can save you money in the long run.
  5. Familiarize Yourself with Regulations: Review the North Carolina fishing regulations and familiarize yourself with size limits, catch limits, and any special requirements for the waters you plan to fish.
  6. Carry Your License While Fishing: Remember to carry your valid fishing license with you at all times while fishing in North Carolina, as it may be requested by wildlife enforcement officers.

By following these tips and obtaining your NC fishing license at Walmart, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an enjoyable and legal fishing adventure in the beautiful waters of North Carolina.

Free and Reduced-Fee Licenses

The State of North Carolina offers free Unified Lifetime Fishing Licenses to the following groups:

  • NC residents who rely on fishing for food.
  • NC residents who are legally blind.
  • Residents in NC care homes.

Additionally, Unified Lifetime Fishing Licenses are available at a discounted price of $11 plus a $2 processing fee for individuals with physical disabilities:

  • Residents who are permanently and totally disabled.
  • Resident veterans who are 50% or more disabled.

Replacing a Lost or Damaged License

If you’ve misplaced your fishing license or it has become damaged, don’t worry – it’s easy to replace. Simply print and fill out this form and send it to:

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission License Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1707

Along with your application, include a check or proof of money order to cover the administrative fee – $1 for lifetime licenses or $7 for all other licenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a license to fish in private ponds?

No, a fishing license is not required when fishing in private ponds on privately-owned land.

Can I fish without a license on certain days?

Yes, everyone can fish without a license on the 4th of July in North Carolina.

Do I need a license if I’m helping someone else fish?

Yes, even if you’re not actively fishing yourself, you need a license if you’re assisting someone else with activities like baiting hooks or setting the drag.

Do I need a separate license for trout fishing?

No, as of 2020, trout fishing is included in the Inland Fishing License, and no separate Trout Stamp is required.

Where can I purchase a fishing license besides Walmart?

You can purchase a fishing license online through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website, by phone at 888-248-6834, or in person at various tackle shops, hardware stores, and other registered vendors across the state.


Obtaining a fishing license at Walmart in North Carolina is a straightforward process that ensures you’re complying with state regulations and contributing to the conservation of the state’s aquatic resources. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the license purchasing process and embark on a memorable fishing adventure in North Carolina’s diverse waterways.

Remember, carrying a valid fishing license is not only a legal requirement but also a responsibility that supports the sustainability of the state’s fisheries and the preservation of this beloved pastime for generations to come.

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